STATE HIGHWAYS FALLING APART - New Study Says Roads And Bridges Crumbling

After a media struggle to obtain it, state transportation officials have released a broad study that shows West Virginia is falling way behind in building and repairing roads, and the funding mechanisms to accomplish the task.

One big problem is the condition of bridges, many of which were erected in the 20s and 30s.

The WVU study recommends the state increase taxes and fees that go into the State Road Fund. An alternative is dropping programs like the Courtesy Patrol.

Transportation Secretary Fred VanKirk is recommending that other state departments share the cost of building access roads to new buildings. WVDOT now pays for those roads.

VanKirk also said the Division of Motor Vehicles is addressing the study's finding that DMV spending and hiring has skyrocketed, indicating the agencies budget is out of control.

VanKirk says he is seriously concerned about the current condition of roads in the Mountain State and the future prospect of repairing them.

WVU professor Dr. Tom Witt say the state isn't budgeting the money needed to keep highways and bridges in satisfactory condition.

Secretary VanKirk says the report confirms the scope of the problem and how much funding it's going to take to get the roads back in good shape.